New names often struggle to get started in fashion, there are a million hurdles in the way and you have to negotiate them with no experience, fresh out of college. Nightmare. Which is why the Centre for Fashion Enterprise is so good, with its two year Venture Programme that supports and mentors fashion designers who have been in business for at least a year. By picking designers who have already showed commitment to being in business, the CFE is able to support those who have achieved a lot themselves such as getting stockists, sorting out production and hosting buyers. On the programme the designers get studio space, access to mentors from the industry together with heaps of advice and It has a terrific track record, having nurtured names such as Erdem, Osman Yousefzada, Peter Pilotto and Marios Schwab just to name a few .
TWR reader Angela Quaintrell is one of the mentors, and she told us this year”s bunch of Holly Fulton, Tim Soar (doing womenswear now) and Felicity Brown are stars of the future. On Saturday I popped along to see the Felicity Brown presentation at the Royal Opera House and inspect the Summer 2012 clothes, mostly modelled on gazelles (not jealous at all….). As well as her beautiful sculptural signature dresses using twisted-tubes of silks, Felicity has introduced a more versatile range of separates in easier shapes, to wear during the day rather than to the Oscars. They are gorgeous, in beautiful colours and timeless and you don’t really need to be a gazelle to wear them. Fingers crossed the buyers like them too and we get to see them in store next summer.